As we are known as a leading SEO expert Manchester, we quite often get asked about whether it is a good idea to include an image with a blog post – and our answer is always yes! Images not only help to bring pieces of writing to life, but they can also benefit your blog and website through the use of SEO as well.
For the best SEO in Manchester, you should be adding images into every piece of content that you write, to make sure it is as appealing as possible to readers. Adding in images can also help to improve your Google ranking as part of their algorithm focuses on user readability. Therefore, if you are going to be using visual content you need to make sure your image is optimised for SEO purposes – and you can do that by following these five tips:
Tip One: Don’t use stock images
When you are writing an excellent content for your website, you want to make sure that it stands out. This is why it is best to avoid using stock imagery as a lot of websites are filled with the same photos meaning that they look generic and not original at all. For example, if you look at websites of consulting firms, you will find that they all tend to use the same images of people smiling and shaking hands. Help your content and website to stand out by making your own high-quality photos, and using them instead.
Tip Two: Optimise your image file size
Having a slow-loading website can have an effect on your rankings, and not in a positive way, and images can quite often be the cause of this issue, that is why ensuring your image file sizes are optimised is a key part of SEO. If you want to make sure your site speed is optimal, then you need to ensure your images file sizes are reduced through using resizing and compression tools. Make sure when you use these tools, however, that your images don’t get distorted or you lose pixels.
Tip Three: Image file names
When you are working on optimising your images for SEO, file names are really important. Image file names let Google and the other search engines know exactly what your image is about, so using keyword-rich file names is always a good idea. Most times images that have been shot on a camera or downloaded from a stock image site will just say ‘IMG_1234’ which tells us nothing, so you want to change the file name to something more descriptive, making sure it contains the keyword you are targeting.
Tip Four: Use descriptive captions
Adding a descriptive caption to your image is not vital for SEO but it is good practice. Caption text is usually shown in a grey box when it is added to an image that is uploaded to a website. Captions on images are beneficial as they mean that the image can be interpreted and understood in the way that you would like it to be. Asides from the alt text (which we will explain below) the caption also provides more information for search engines to understand when they are crawling your site.
Tip Five: Use SEO-friendly ALT tags
ALT tags are the name given to tags that are added to images to allow search engines to understand what the image is about when they are crawling your site. They are similar to title tags and should be used to describe the content of every image file you upload to your site.
ALT tags are very important for SEO and should be included in every image, with keywords featuring strongly in the descriptions that you use. We hope this has given you some idea of how important it is to optimise the images you use on your website, but if you have any further questions please get in touch. SEO MCR is one of the leading local search engine optimisation services in Manchester and our experienced team is here to help.